Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Southwest Airlines Terminal Tour: Los Angeles LAX Airport Terminal 1

Explorer A

In December of 2018, Southwest Airlines cut the ribbon on a brand new LAX Terminal 1. The new facility is so nice, I dare say you may want to get to your flight extra early or hang out after your flight lands just so you can shop, eat and enjoy the atmosphere. Yes, it’s that good. If you’re traveling to or from the new LAX Southwest Terminal in the near future, read on for some helpful tips and things you should know. 


“Southwest gates are in Terminal 1 at LAX, which is a huge horseshoe shape. That means arriving at the airport for a Southwest departure via shuttle or car is generally pretty easy and quick since Terminal 1 is the first stop. On the flip side, when you fly into LAX and have to catch a rental car or airport shuttle, be prepared for extra stops at the rest of the terminals as you make your way around the horseshoe. It does add a few extra minutes that are worth planning for!” 

@elijahbrantley Southwest Rapid Rewards Member


Navigating The LAX Southwest Terminal 1


What terminal is Southwest at LAX? It’s the newly renovated LAX Terminal 1. The brand new facility now boasts a newly designed ticketing area and a NINE lane security checkpoint, so you should be able to get through and to your gate fairly quickly. That will give you more time to enjoy all of the good food and shopping the terminal has to offer. If you want to gauge your wait time, you can check the line times here. Once you’re in, here are some things you can look forward to:


Southwest Airlines LAX Terminal Food/Restaurants


If you’re looking for the best food LAX Terminal 1 has to offer, you’ll want to see this list. All of these restaurants are easily accessible beyond security in the LAX Southwest Terminal. There’s a great variety of chain and local favorites, so you’re certain to find something to fit your taste in the LAX food offerings. Some restaurants let you skip the line by placing your order online using Grab. Not all restaurants are available through Grab. Here are all of your options in the Southwest Airlines LAX Terminal:


LAX Terminal 1 Dining Options


  • Beaming Cafe: This cafe offers organic juices and smoothies as well as healthy take-out options
  • California Pizza Kitchen: Come here for a sit down meal of tasty flatbread pizzas, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and a full selection of beer, wine, and cocktails
  • Cassell’s Hamburgers: This local fast, casual destination, known for its quality ingredients, is a favorite among food critics
  • Chick-Fil-A: Grab chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, salads, shakes, waffle fries, and fresh lemonade LAX favorites here
  • Deli & Co: This grab and go station has fresh sandwiches and snacks that are packaged and ready to eat immediately or take on a flight
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Fresh bagels and schmear, coffee, salads, and sandwiches are the go-to favorites here
  • Pei Wei Asian Diner: This fast, casual restaurant features satisfying portions of made-to-order Asian favorites
  • Reilly’s Irish Pub: Based on the West Hollywood original, this pub serves up comfort food, and has plenty of beers on tap and the largest whisky selection in LA
  • Rock and Brews: Grab a snack and go, or settle in with some American comfort food and enjoy sports coverage on one of the many TVs in this rock and roll themed pub
  • The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: An American coffee house with a wide selection of brews, teas, pastries, and baked goods
  • Trejo’s Tacos: They serve up authentic Mexican tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more in this fast, casual restaurant
  • Urth Caffé and Bar: You’ll find organic and hormone-free coffee, tea, dairy, and fruit in this spot where you can grab a drink, salad, sandwich, and more


Long Layover? 

You could get your west coast burger fix by making a quick visit to the In-n-Out conveniently located just outside LAX, but only if you’ve got a nice long layover. We love our “animal style” burgers, but please don’t miss your connection because you’re knee-deep in fries. 


“If you love planes and burgers, get two fixes in one spot at the Westchester In-N-Out Burger! It's located right at the corner of the airport and provides the perfect spot to get up close with the many different types of aircraft that land at LAX! They even have outdoor seating!”

@elijahbrantley Southwest Rapid Rewards Member


terminal tours los angeles.pngImage courtesy of @debodoes

Retail Therapy


Nothing kicks off a vacation, kills time, or beats those “I have to go back to my regularly scheduled life” blues like a little retail therapy. LAX Terminal 1 offers a lot of options to grab some last-minute travel necessities, souvenirs, or something to treat yourself while you’re waiting for your flight to depart. 


Terminal 1 Pre-Security (Arrivals) Retail Stores


  • Hudson News: This iconic airport store carries a selection of books, magazines, snacks, beverages, and beauty, tech, and travel essentials


Terminal 1 Retail Stores


  • Brookstone: Grab some electronics, toys, or travel accessories in this national chain known for its quality products
  • I Love L.A.: This reasonably priced gift shop features souvenirs, as well as beverages, magazines, and more
  • Kiehl’s: Up your skincare game at this store with premium offerings
  • LA Original: This shop features unique items made by local artists with proceeds going to support the Downtown Women’s Center’s MADE by DWC program
  • MAC Cosmetics: Get a makeover or shop for makeup at this well-known cosmetics store
  • New Stand (close to TSA): A variety shop with everything from high fashion to new media, weird toys, and interesting finds
  • New Stand Kiosk: A smaller version store with everything from high fashion to new media, weird toys, and interesting finds
  • Sol Surf: Get all your surf and beachwear necessities here
  • Treat Me Sweet: Satisfy your sweet tooth in this fun candy shop


Family Bathrooms


When you gotta go, you gotta go, and the LAX Southwest Terminal offers plenty of options for your bathroom break. You can find restrooms by the ticketing/check in area, next to baggage claim, and by Gates 9, 11A, 13, and 14. The larger bank of restrooms is by Gates 13 and 14, and this area also includes family bathrooms. Nursing mothers can find a designated nursing room in LAX Terminal 1 by Gate 13.


Traveling With Pets


If you brought a pet or service animal with you on your vacation, you’ll be happy to know that every LAX Airport Terminal has a pet relief area beyond the security checkpoint. At the LAX Southwest Terminal, you’ll find this area located next to Gate 13. There is also a pre-security pet relief area located between the Southwest Airlines LAX Terminal 1 and LAX Terminal 2. The walking time from one terminal to another is approximately 3-5 minutes.




Running low on juice? You’ll find designated power stations by Gates 9, 12, and 13, and two by Gate 15. Plus, all LAX Airport Terminals offer free unlimited Wi-Fi in all public areas. The only catch is that you have to watch one 15-30 second advertisements every 45 minutes. You can find the free Wi-Fi under the network name _LAX Free WiFi. Connect to that network, launch your web browser, and select “Free Unlimited WiFi” to begin. A short ad will then play and you’ll be on your way. Faster Internet service is also available for a fee.


Wander Around Here


There are plenty of drinking fountains and water bottle filling stations throughout the terminal. They are all located next to the bathrooms—in the ticketing/check in area, next to baggage claim, and by Gates 9, 11A, 13, and 14.


Several terminals feature art exhibitions. The current exhibit in the LAX Terminal 1 is Florgalora by Pat Warner. It’s a tribute to California’s flowering plants. Check here for up to date information on the latest exhibits in all the terminals, including the LAX international arrivals terminal.


If you have a Hawaii layover or just some extra time before your flights, and relaxation is your thing, you can get a massage, facial, or mani/pedi at Be Relax across from Gate 11B. If you find yourself in the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B) as you arrive from Mexico with a layover, you may want to splurge on a membership to the KAL Lounge LAX. This is a member’s only area that has showers, refreshments, alcoholic beverages, and plenty of work stations and space to relax.


Rental Cars


All rental car offices are located away from the airport terminals and are accessible by a free shuttle. For the following companies, get on a shuttle under the purple rental car signs outside of baggage claim on the main level:

  • Advantage
  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Enterprise
  • Fox
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Payless
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty


If you’re getting a car from Ace Rent A Car, Airport Van Rentals, Allied, Midway, or Silvercar, catch the Economy Lot E shuttle by LAZ Parking. You’ll find the stop under the blue LAX Shuttle Airline Connection sign.


Have you been to LAX? Give us your best advice for traveling through this busy airport in the comments below. 


Did you know that the Southwest Discussion Forum is packed with information and savvy travelers that are happy to offer tips and advice? Visit the community to get started! 


terminal tour los angeles.png


1 Comment